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Henry Street Grooves - Classic Deep, Funky and Jazzy House from New York - out on BBE

Henry Street Grooves Classic Deep Funky and Jazzy House from New York
Various - Henry Street Grooves - Classic Deep, Funky and Jazzy House from New York
(2xCD/12"/Digital) Barely Breaking Even BBE175, 2011-03-21

Henry Street Music was established in 1993/94 in New York by Johnny "D" DeMairo. The label immediately went on to enjoy immense success with 2 club records that achieved huge pop crossover audiences - The Bomb by Kenny Dope aka Bucketheads and later with The Funk Phenomena by Armand Van Helden. The label's roster is a who's who of house music, featuring several releases from the likes of Dj Sneak, Terry Hunter, Little Louie Vega, Todd Terry, Ralphi Rosario, Todd Terry, 95 North, Paul Simpson, Ashley Beedle and many more. At the same time label boss Johnny D was an A&R at Atlantic records where he commissioned and was responsible for big hits such as Missing by Everything by the Girl, Professional Widow by Tori Amos and hundreds of other releases for Atlantic and Rhino. Henry Street has earned several gold discs across the world for sales across its repertoire. Five of the tracks from this compilation are previously unreleased. Tracks such as D2-D2 by Dj Duke are collectors classics and will be re-released and re-mastered on vinyl for the first time in over 10 years...

Henry Street Grooves Classic Deep Funky and Jazzy House from New York
Various - Henry Street Grooves - Classic Deep, Funky and Jazzy House from New York
(2xCD/12"/Digital) Barely Breaking Even BBE175, 2011-03-14

Tracklisting CD1 :
01. The Force - Non Stop Action (Neon Mix)
02. Johnick - Summer Flight (Henry Street Mix)
03. 95 North - Check It Out (Dub)
04. Tronco Traxx - Drops (Johnny V Stole My Sample Mix)
05. Dirty Harry - Funk Daze
06. Murder Inc. - The Clap (Jungle Funk Mix)
07. Markus Schulz & C.L. McSpadden - Do What Cha Like
08. The Rising Sunz - Sunrize
09. Mike Delgado - Soul Good
10. Dirty Harry - Give Into Me
11. Liquid Dope - That Sound (Kenny "Dope" Mix)

Tracklisting CD2 :
01. DJ Duke - D2-D2
02. E-Smoove - The Guitar
03. Ray Roc - Shake It (Rock & Kato Original)
04. Maurizio Ruggiero - Uncomfortably Numb
05. DJ Duke - Amor
06. Robbie Rivera - Saxmania #1
07. The Eltingville Project - Heaven's Piano (FTL Mix)

Vinyl 12" :
01. DJ Duke - D2-D2
02. The Eltingville Project - Heaven's Piano (FTL Mix)

Links :

Press Release :
Back at the tail end of the last millennium BBE released a comprehensive over view of house music in the latter stages of the 20th century. 'Henry Street Music: The Story So Far - 1993 To 1999' was a slice of superior contemporary club classics featuring all of the key players, architects and music makers of the day. Todd Terry, Armand Van Helden, Kenny Dope, DJ Sneak, 95 North, Robbie Rivera, Davidson Ospina, Ralphi Rosario, Mike Delgado, King Britt, and a handful of others under various alter egos and nom de plumes. It was a given that they were all great records, what was all the more impressive was that they all originated from the same recording home, Henry Street Music. A label conceived and devised by Johnny DeMairo, an Italian-American from Brooklyn who talked the talk, could easily have been an extra in The Soprano's, and was known affectionately as "The Shark". To others he was just plain Johnny "D", and one half of the pro! duction duo JohNick with studio partner Nicky "P" Palermo Jr.

By day DeMairo was Senior Director A&R for Atlantic Records. He was the man that paired Todd Terry with Everything But The Girl and transformed 'Missing' into a chart topping hit; he helped convert an underground house producer named Armand Van Helden into the hottest property via a remix for Tori Amos; and signed a a sample track from Kenny Dope who took a non-hit from one the biggest groups in pop history to create a record that was literally 'The Bomb!'

"I first met Johnny in the mid-'90s when writing a column for Blues & Soul magazine aptly named Between The Tracks. I'd commented on the ever-increasing number of singles being released under the strap line so and so '…Presents', and had hinted that inferior product was being sold under the name of a more successful brand. Out of a dozen records I'd received that week bearing the '…Presents' moniker I used a JohNick Presents track by way of example… a few days later the phone rang and I was berated by the man whose name I'd used as an example: "Why out of all of the hundreds of fucking examples out there did you pick on us?" He had tracked me down 3,000 miles and 5 time zones apart to demand an answer. He liked my honest tell-it-like-it-is approach to music and life. It also quickly transpired that we shared a mutual love for disco music, vinyl collecting, and putting the world to rights. We became good friends almost immediately after putting the phone down!"

Johnny D started Henry Street back in 1993, with fellow New York producer Tommy Musto. "He and I left Sound Factory Bar on a Wednesday night when Louie Vega used to play and we discussed it," he reflects. "The reason behind it was very simple: I felt the competing labels at the time were hitting a wall as far as creativity, and there were no classics being made. The music to me was ! becoming very disposable. My thoughts were, if I take a record! that is 20 years old and make it hot, I'd get 20 more years out of it. I knew disco better than most and thought I could use that knowledge to make old records and grooves new again."

With the help of Musto and Silvio Tancredi - owners of the Northcott Productions empire and responsible for such seminal house labels as 25 West, 4thFloor and Sub-Urban - there was a ready made distribution and street marketing arm at his disposal. "I did the A&R and they handled the distribution. Nicky Palermo was my right-hand man and studio partner. It was important that we had someone in Northcott a few days a week while I was at my nine-to-five, initially with S.I.N. (a New York promotion company) then Atlantic Records. My day was basically, 8am at one of the places, then 7pm until past midnight most nights at Northcott."

Henry Street Music, taking its name from the street that intersected President & Hicks in DeMairo's Brooklyn neighbourhood, debuted in the spring of 1994 with 'Whew' by Kenny Dope Presents The Bucketheads… there's that word again! "Kenny who is, and was one of my closest friends at the time, agreed to give me my first record to help launch the label and put it on the map. In essence it made us an immediate player."

It worked. By release number four, 'The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)' also by the Bucketheads, the label had become an international player with a single built around one of the longest introductions since 'Relight Light My Fire', and elements from Chicago's 'S! treet Player'. "My love and knowledge for disco made me look for that sound from producers. I was fortunate to get some really good music that I'm proud of and still love day. Even though a lot of people buying and listening to this compilation are going to be very familiar with nearly all the artists, and many of the releases we put out on the label, I think most of these tracks are going to be very new to people who will be hearing these for the first time.

It worked. By release number four, 'The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)' also by the Bucketheads, the label had become an international player with a single built around one of the longest introductions since 'Relight Light My Fire', and elements from Chicago's 'Street Player'.
Lewis Dene 2011 - Update,,

Biography :
Hindsight will prove that of all the dance music labels with a retrospective bent, Henry Street was not only the most innovative but also one of the most successful. A large part of that fact is due to its owner and creator, one John DeMairo AKA Johnny D.

Born and raised in Henry St, Brooklyn, of Italian parentage, Johnny D possesses that nation's infamous tenacity. Allied to that is business acumen and a sharp musical mind honed by its days, months and weeks growing up in the tough multicultural streets of New York.

Never one to wait for tomorrow his career to date is littered with gold - star achievements born out of a determination and a will to win. He was DJing by the age of twelve and a few years later were playing out regularly at clubs, venues and some of the biggest parties in town. He has now played all over the world including The Ministry of Sound and Hard Times over here in the UK.

A member of the Independent Street Info Network (SIN) he promoted extensively, making his name as a leading player in the field. He broke records by no less a performer than Janet Jackson, gave the world the first ever Mobb Deep single and began the Funkmaster Flex mix CD series - only 3 of the projects to receive Johnny D's Midas touch.

Apart from the undoubted success of his label, Johnny D is now a chief A & R and promotion man for Atlantic Records stateside. During this time he has further enhanced his already considerable reputation with his role in records such as "Missing" by Everything But The Girl, "Professional Widow" by Tori Amos and "The Boss" by The Braxtons.

To put it quite simply, the man is one in a million. When you consider the mighty array of talent that he has surrounded himself with - the likes of Armand Van Helden, Kenny "Dope", Ralphie Rosario, Tommy Musto, 95 North, Robbie Rivera, Scottie Deep and Todd Terry, it is easy to see why Henry Street Music has been such a resounding success.

It is also easy to hear. Take the famous Bucketheads anthem "The Bomb" which blew up all over the world, reaching number four in the Top of The Pops Ten. In addition it was a monster hit internationally particularly in countries such as Spain, Canada and Germany. The irresistible hooks, the wickedly fluid yet filtered rhythm, the whole good time vibe. It was a recipe for success and it was ultra - credible to boot.

Track by Track Info :
"This was actually a remix that King Britt had done for me that never saw the light of day. I loved it so much I decided to put it as out as a single (HS30). The actual name comes from two graffiti crews from '70s and '80s in New York respectively - The Force and Non Stop Action. It's one of my favorite pressings on the label; when King did it (along with partner John Wicks) I remember making a cassette and listening to it for hours and hours in my car."
Lifted from the 4-track EP '2000' (HS560), 'Summer Flight' was another adventurous and well-produced sample excursion into the quality side of fusion and disco produced by studio partner Nicky "P" Palermo. Built around one of those wonderful acoustic guitar moments from the early-'80s it's set to a shuffling light-dance beat re-edited by one half of the legendary "Latin Rascals" Albert Cabrera. The balance of the EP was more traditional disco-house fare.

Doug Smith and Richard Payton already had a discography of a dozen or more house EPs under their belt for all the major New York house labels of the era by the time they delivered this two cut EP for Henry Street in '96 (HS199 later reissued as HS522). I loved 'Check It Out' and felt it was a stand-out from 95 North. Most labels at that time wouldn't touch a song with a tempo under 125 bpm which this was.

Created by Philly DJ and producer Robbie Tronco, this B-side originally featured on 'Tronco Traxx Volume #1' (HS176 later remixed and reissued as HS182 and HS515) "Robbie's a real multi-facetted guy and a highly underrated producer. To many it was all about the A-side 'Walk 4 Me' that was a huge record in the gay scene, and was later stolen wholesale by Peter Rauhofer for Size Queen. 'Drops' is an amazing minimal piano-track that has nothing to do with the hard tribal lead number. To me this showed on one record just how talented Robbie was, and Henry Street was the first label to release any of his material as well."

Often written as Dirty Harry St Clare, the New Yorker was raised in the same Brooklyn neighborhood as Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez, Todd Terry and Mike Delgado, and has been in the fold since the early days of the house music explosion. His sophomore Henry Street EP, 'Dimension' (HS193) included 'Funk Daze' amongst its four-tracks. "Kenny Dope introduced me to Harry. This is another downtempo record, and one I felt got lost at the time, as Henry Street was obviously perceived as a disco-house label."

A one-off release under the guise of Murder Inc. by producer That Kid Chris (aka Chris Staropoli), 'The Clap' was lifted from the '97 four-tracker 'One Of A Kind EP' (HS520). "I hate to use the word 'tribal', but Chris is really known for his harder underground material. But with him, as with many of my releases, I wanted the producer to do something a little different for the label. I really love this track and feel it shows another side of Chris."

Lifted from the 'Tales From The Vault EP' (HS186) both Markus Shulz and CL McSpadden lived in Arizona when they recorded for Henry Street, although this is pure New York-inspired funky disco-house. "I think I'm right in saying this is one of the first records Markus ever did. He's a huge international DJ right now on the trance scene. Even though the vocal was well know and really tired, the track worked."

The 'Lesson EP' (HS191) was originally credited to Rising Sunz, the UK collective featuring Ashley Beedle and Phil Asher amongst others. The release marked the Black Science man's American recording debut with a strong jazz-house EP that also included the Latin-kissed 'Ricano Sunspots', and the sublime and lazy vibes on the mouth watering 'Hot Chocolate Fudge Sunday'. "When I met Ashley we hit it off instantly. I had a lot of respect for him with what he'd done. Nicky P and I had actually done a track earlier for Todd Terry's label called 'Tribute To Ashley B.' where we sampled one of his Black Science Orchestra tracks. This wasn't the BSO sound, or anything like his Roach Motel material with Phil Asher, this really displayed their knowledge in music as more then just house-music. Another ballsy move as this was more jazz then house."

After a brace of acclaimed EPs under his Upstairs Lounge guise for Henry Street that included the essential disco-looper 'Byrdman's Revenge' (HS510) and chunky 'Mental Fusion' (HS539), 'The Complete Upstairs Lounge EP' (HS557) pulled them both together across two twelves with the added attraction of the mixing tool 'Caveman's Groove', and the rumbling funky bass-savvy disco-laced 'Soul Good'. "Mike's another Brooklyn guy who's really talented. He was part of the original Masters At Work - back then Masters At Work was Mike, Kenny Dope and Todd Terry. When I started the label he was high on my list of people I wanted to work with."

"This was actually one of the last vinyl releases the label issued in 2003. Taken from the 'The Next Dimension EP' (HS588) I absolutely love this track, and to me it's a breath of fresh air. It was probably four or five years in between releases, and he'd given me a CD with about 25-tracks on it, and this just jumped out at me. I still play this."

The B-side to 'Rock Your' (HS 534), 'That Sound' was pure Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez at his best with a hint of '80s funk that's as relevant now as it was back in day. "It's another downtempo record, and is highly UK-influenced. Not because it was made there, but because a lot of U.S. dj's were turned onto a song which never did much stateside, but was a staple of the UK club scene despite it originating in Ohio. There's nothing unbelievably creative about what he did with the loop compared to what he could have done, but to me it's all about introducing that song to a new market, which Kenny did effortlessly. Here's a record you all should know."

This subtle remake of Manuel Gottsching's archetypical 'E2-E4' would form the basis for Sueno Latino's eponymous single and help put not just Italo house, but also Ibiza, on the dance radar. Duke's version (HS553) stays true to the source, and like Gottsching's original, similarly weighs in at an equally epic time. "I met Duke at record shows as, like me, he's a big vinyl collector, and we did a couple of swaps for each other's respective labels. I always felt his Power Music releases were very different to everything else that was happening at the time. I was very happy to have this and other releases from him. This version was an instant classic and is one of the most requested vinyl releases on the label.

Eric Miller, aka E-Smoove, had already made a name for himself in the '90s alongside Maurice Joshua under the tutelage of Steve 'Silk' Hurley. The trio helped redefine the house sound of Chicago on a global scale with productions and remixes for a who's who of pop, dance and R&B including Michael Jackson, Simply Red, Roberta Flack and Mary J. Blige. In 2001 he released 'The Guitar', a sublime free-flowing guitar jam of live instrumentation, and superlative production savvy that still sets dancefloor alive and remains one of the artist's best loved, and certainly most requested singles. "This is another classic Henry Street release (HS567).

Another 21st century release, 'The Ray Roc Zone Part 2' (HS578) surfaced in 2002 created by long time New York house heads Ramon Ray Checo, perhaps best known for his work as half of Roc & Kato, and the international dancefloor hit 'Jungle Kisses'. "This was done years ago as a Roc & Kato track, and to me this was always the bomb. He was the first guy I made records with and if Ray and I had discussed at that time, he probably would have been a partner in Henry Street. We continue to be good friends, and I've had much respect for him as a DJ and producer for years. This it truly my favourite jam he ever made!"

Taken from the Italian producer's second release for the label, and the second in the 'Lemon Juice EP' (HS570) series, that backed 'On The Way To' with 'Uncomfortably Numb'. "I met Maurizio through Robbie Rivera. Both were based in Miami when he gave me these beautiful vintage sounding records. His style reminded me of what disco would sound like if it were still being made in the late-'90s: highly musical with lots of peaks and valleys; polished like a modern day Cerrone.

Known as the man behind the crossover smash 'Blow Your Whistle', DJ Duke released numerous recordings on his own labels - Power Music, Power Music Trax and Sex Mania - as well as the occasional dalliance for some of clubland's finest homes. His third and final EP for Henry Street paired the deep and hypnotic 'Amor' (HS542) with the equally chunky 'Music Cinema'.

"In the '90s Robbie was perhaps guilty of releasing too many singles for too many different labels, so quality control and consistency was often not part of the equation. I think initially that kind of hurt him, but in 'Sax Mania' (HS559) he hook disco elements and created a big-room sounding record, and that was unusual for Henry Street." The beats are chunky, filtered and chopped, the vocal is minimal, yet hooky enough to get you excited, and there's more then enough kick 'n' snare to make the floor erupt in all the right places.

Made by Jeremias Santiago, aka FTL, from Staten Island, NY. "This guy is highly respected by MANY DJ/ producers, and most people don't realise how multitalented he is." With the A-side, 'Been There' based around a loop and aimed at the disco crowd, it was the cool and jazzy 'Heaven's Piano' (HS590) that was actually the standout and sat perfectly alongside the work of say, Joe Claussell. "It's actually one of my most requested vinyl pressings to this day. I think it was also the second to last release Henry Street put out on vinyl too, and a perfect way to end this CD compilation."
Lewis Dene 2011 - Update,,

French info :
De retour au bout du dernier millenium BBE sort une vue d'ensemble détaillée de la musique House dans sa dernière étape, du 20ème siècle. " Henry Street Music: The Story So Far - 1993 à 1999 était une tranche de classiques supérieurs de club contemporains représentant tous les acteurs clés, les architectes et les producteurs de musique du jour.
Todd Terry, Armand Van Helden, Kenny Dope, DJ Sneak, 95 North, Robbie Rivera, Davidson Ospina, Ralphi Rosario, Mike Delgado, King Britt, et une poignée d'autres alter egos et noms de plumes. 


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